TAMPA | The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has endorsed Tampa mayoral candidate Jane Castor ahead of the city’s runoff election April 23.
HRC, the nation’s largest LGBTQ civil rights advocacy organization, gathered with supporters in Ybor Square March 28 to make the announcement. They were joined by the Hillsborough County LGBTA Democratic Caucus—dedicated to electing progressive candidates—as well as Equality Florida Action PAC, the state’s largest political committee dedicated to electing pro-equality candidates. Each of the latter organizations previously endorsed Castor in the race.
“Rarely is there a candidate who is so well qualified for the office she is seeking,” Hillsborough County LGBTA Democratic Caucus leadership shared with those gathered. “Jane Castor is that candidate.”
“Jane Castor’s race for mayor is our top priority as we continue to march through 2019,” Equality Florida Field Director Wesley Davis shared next. “Tampa is home to one of Florida’s most vibrant and visible LGBTQ communities across the state … Jane Castor’s candidacy represents the diversity and inclusion that Tampa prides itself on.”
HRC’s National Field Director Marty Rouse followed. “I am proud to be here today to announce that the Human Rights Campaign endorses Jane Castor for mayor,” he began. “She is a leader, she is a proven fighter and she is someone who puts people before politics.”
“On April 23, Tampa has the opportunity to not just elect the highest ranking openly LGBTQ elected official in the Southeast United States,” he continued, “but to elect someone who cares for everyone in Tampa. She can be a shining light for this city, for the entire state and in fact, the entire country. On behalf of the 16,000 HRC members in Tampa, we are so proud to support who we hope will be the next mayor of this fine city, Jane Castor.”
Castor subsequently thanked each of the organizations for their endorsements and for their dedication to equality. “One of the things that I have found throughout my life is that when you bring people together, regardless of their background, race, culture or sexuality, is that they find that their similarities far outweigh their differences,” she shared.
“It is my belief that who I love does not—and I submit should not—matter to our community,” Castor continued. “They will judge you on your integrity, your character and your ability, and that’s the way it should be. I couldn’t be more excited to be standing here and receiving the endorsement of all of these fine individuals.”
The city of Tampa’s runoff election will be held April 23 with early voting from April 14-20. For more information about Jane Castor’s campaign, check out Watermark’s in-depth coverage.
Photo by Ryan Williams-Jent.